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Gendarme anaerobic toilets prevent the spread of cholera while saving water

January 2009

Hlekweni is partnering with Gendarme Sanitation Systems of Botswana to offer an advanced, cost-effective, anaerobic toilet. Gendarme toilets use natural anaerobic digestion to efficiently treat waste while eliminating enteric diseases, including cholera.

Gendarme toilet installed within a house

The Gendarme, like all anaerobic toilets, is flushless, so no running water is required, saving precious water and obviating the need for plumbing. What makes the Gendarme unique is its "non-flush flush" which, with a quick pump of the handle, swiftly removes the waste, begins the mechanical breakdown of solids through flush pressure and agitates the contents of the digester tank to prevent settlement of solids.

Why anaerobic digestion? Anaerobic digestion, which takes place in a contained underground system consisting of two tanks, continues the process that begins in our bodies. The anaerobic process is natural, requires no chemicals, and is virtually maintenance free. The product of the anaerobic process is "black water" that is both pathogen free and high in fertilizer value. It can be disposed of via a sewerage line or used for irrigation.

Anaerobic digestion occurs in contained underground tanks

The Gendarme is suitable for a wide range of site locations, from urban settings to remote locations such as rural villages or mines. Lack of plumbing or sewerage lines no longer forces people to choose between aesthetically distasteful and potentially disease-spreading pit latrines or portable chemical toilets which require frequent pump outs.

A family's freestanding Gendarme toilet

The Gendarme can be constructed as a freestanding unit or installed within a house or building.

Contact Moses Lusaba, Production Unit Manager, at 011 971 033 or [email protected] for further information.

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